San Bernadino is on the bankruptcy bubble, joining a growing number of major cities that are succumbing to insolvency.
According to the Press-Enterprise, “city spending for the current fiscal year is projected to exceed revenues by more than $45 million if it is unable to find other revenues and/or cut spending.”
According to The Sun, personnel costs account for roughly 75 percent of the city’s expenditures – which reflects the disproportionate influence of the government employee unions.
“We are a city with very strong unions – as an older city that is often the case – and newer cities largely contract out many of the services we do in-house,” explains Mayor Pat Morris. “This city needs to represent the constituents – not the employees, but those who live here.”
Morris observes that employee pensions are “out of control,” which means that San Bernadino is headed in exactly the same direction as neighboring Stockton, and for the same reason. In addition, during the housing bubble San Bernadino spent extravagantly on a number of public projects of dubious worth that are now beyond its financial means. Accounting errors and other institutional ineptitude and corruption have exacerbated their plight.
San Bernadino is a city of roughly 200,000 and is the seat of an eponymous county that has a total population of roughly 2,000,000 people. A majority of the population is “Hispanic,” per the Census Bureau, and the median household income is well below the state average. Like other cities facing bankruptcy, San Bernadino is likely to curtail services before making severe cuts in personnel costs and other overhead – which will likely produce increased economic hardship for government dependents and enhanced social tensions.
The impending bankruptcy of San Bernadino is another illustration of the kind of man-made emergencies that should be taken into account by “preppers” who live in major cities. Every significant American city has a potential to go the way of Stockton, San Bernadino – or the entire nation of Greece.
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